ASL FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Do you have a question about LTC’s ASL services that wasn’t answered elsewhere? Don’t worry, someone else has probably asked it too! Take a look here and see if we’ve covered it.
How do I contact LTC to set up ASL interpreting services?
You can contact our main office at 888-456-1626 and we would be happy to write up a quote. 24 hours’ notice is ideal, but we are able to accommodate last minute emergencies.
Why are two ASL interpreters required for some appointments?
In the ASL industry, it is standard to have a team of 2 interpreters for sessions lasting longer than 2 hours. That is in keeping with the standards and ethics of the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) and Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID). It is a quality of service issue where a solo interpreter will not be able to perform consistently and accurately over a long period of time (as many studies have shown). When the quality of service becomes an issue, then we are not only putting the interpreter in a situation where he/she won’t be able to be effective, but we may also be up against certain requirements of the ADA. Furthermore, not many qualified interpreters would even accept such an assignment without a teammate.
The Deaf client reads lips, why do I still need to request an interpreter?
Reading lips is a very challenging in the best of circumstances. Only 30% of spoken English can be lip read, leaving 70% to be guessed by context. Providing an interpreter provides full equal access to communication.
The Deaf client brought a family member who says they can interpret. Why is this not an adequate substitute for providing a professional interpreter?
The main reason there is no way to assess the family members’ skill. This can lead to an inaccurate interpretation or even omission of important information. Professional interpreters are familiar with terminology specific jobs, follow a code of professional ethics, and must remain impartial and have strict adherence to confidentiality.
What is a Certified Deaf Interpreter (CDI) and why is it recommended for some appointments?
CDI ( Certified Deaf Interpreter) refers to an individual who has native or near-native fluency in ASL (American Sign Language). This individual is usually Deaf or Hard of Hearing. They are trained and specialize in visual communication across varying mediums and recognizing non-traditional visual communication modes (e.g. any movement or facial expression that can have communicative intent). Their native fluency allows them to recognize this communication with more accuracy than a hearing interpreter who has learned ASL as a second language. Their specialized training prepares them to relay the intended message in whatever manner will be clearly understood by the consumer.
How do I utilize an interpreter?
The interpreter is a neutral unbiased party who will facilitate communication between you and the Deaf client. The interpreter will position themselves next to whoever is speaking so the client is able to see the speaker and the interpreter at the same time. It is always important to speak to the client directly, not to the interpreter. We never want to disempower the Deaf client.
What qualifications do your ASL interpreters have?
LTC recognizes different state licensures as well as certifications from the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) and the National Association for the Deaf (NAD). LTC strives to match the most qualified interpreter to each situation. We take language preference and consumers needs into consideration for each assignment.
Am I required to provide an ASL interpreter?
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 established laws to protect people with disabilities from discrimination. Specifically for Deaf and hard of hearing individuals, the ADA states:
“No individual shall be discriminated against on the basis of disability in the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations of any place of public accommodation by any person who owns, leases (or leases to), or operates a place of public accommodation.”
Additionally, discrimination includes:
“…a failure to take such steps as may be necessary to ensure that no individual with a disability is excluded, denied services, segregated or otherwise treated differently than other individuals because of the absence of auxiliary aids and services…”
The ADA definition of “auxiliary aids and services” includes “qualified interpreters or other effective methods of making aurally delivered materials available to individuals with hearing impairments.”
According to the ADA, it is usually up to the institution in question to provide — and pay for — any necessary sign language interpreting. If an institution does not comply by providing ASL interpreting to meet the needs of a Deaf individual, it may suffer serious penalties.